WHAT IS THE BUILDING SAFETY ACT?
The Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act) was granted Royal Assent on 28 April 2022. It implements the recommendations made in Dame Judith Hackitt’s report Building a Safer Future to create a new robust regulatory system for higher-risk buildings. Her recommendations set out clear duties and responsibilities for those who commission, design, construct and refurbish higher-risk buildings, and those who are responsible for making sure that buildings are safely managed when occupied.
It introduces a new regulatory framework for high-rise buildings, including:
- A new Building Safety Regulator (BSR), which will be responsible for overseeing the safety of high-rise buildings. The BSR will be a statutory body, independent of government.
- A new system of building control, with the BSR taking over the role of building control authority for high-rise buildings.
- A new system of accountability for building safety, with clear roles and responsibilities for those involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of high-rise buildings.
- A new system of information sharing, with the BSR required to collect and store information about high-rise buildings.
- A new system of enforcement, with the BSR having the power to take enforcement action against those who fail to comply with the law.
THE BUILDING SAFETY REGULATOR
The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will become mandatory for high-rise buildings in England from 1st October 2023. This means that all high-rise buildings will need to be registered with the BSR and will be subject to its oversight. The BSR will have three main functions:
- Overseeing the safety and standards of all buildings.
- Helping and encouraging the built environment industry and building control professionals to improve their competence.
- Leading implementation of the new regulatory framework for high-rise buildings.
The Building Safety Regulator will regulate high-rise buildings. These are buildings with 7 or more storeys or that are 18 metres or higher, and either:
- have at least 2 residential units
- are hospitals or care homes (during design and construction)
It is important to note that all existing occupied high-risk buildings must be registered with the BSR by 1st October 2023.